Saturday, July 9, 2011

Paddling as Fast as I Can!

I don't run fast. I run so slowly, in fact, that I am concerned about finishing the September marathon before the cut-off time. (I am starting with some serious fartslek next week.)

Not only do I run slowly, I swim slowly. I splash and thrash around like an angry reptile, and move very slowly across the pool.

And today I learned that I also paddle slowly. Very slowly. Like, turtle-slow.

Wait. I actually have no idea if sea turtles are slow. I am slow like a desert tortoise paddling a kayak on a cold day.

And it wasn't even that cold. 

Day one of the two-day kayaking course today. On the water from 11 to 5, with a little lunch break: hopping up and down under a tree to keep warm while swallowing spinach soup and chewing on crisp bread. Chewing, because everything was damp. It rained off and on, steady but never a downpour.

The thing about rainy days here is that the sky so often is a perfect slate grey. It makes all the colors pop: the greens, the oranges, the purples. There was little to no wind, so the water was clear and it was easy to see that jellyfish season is right around the corner. We paddled close to land, as close as possible, and the jellyfish's orange tentacles moved slowly and elegantly with the ebb and flow. By next month the shores will be chocked with tentacles.

Five years ago the idea of being so close to the ocean terrified me. Kept me awake at night. But twice now I have been on trial dives and am getting used to the water. No, not water. I have no problem showering or swimming in a pool. It's the idea of what is down there in the water - under the rocks, under the sand, among the seaweed fronds. I only had a few moments of panic last night when I thought about having to practice tipping over.

Wetsuits help. Aqua shoes help. I didn't think about the jellyfish when I tipped into the 13C (55F) water. Again and again.

I am so glad I chose to not take the instructor's advice to ditch the wool underwear. I kept my wool undershirt. And I didn't freeze.

Which is kind of amazing, considering how slowly I was moving. (The instructor had to circle back for me, splashing and thrashing in the middle of the sound.)

Going back out tomorrow. It's going to rain. I'm going to take it slow.

Part Two


  1. Fast? Not so much. Far? Now that I can do! Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Have you considered joining a virtual race? And, by the way, I love my Garmin.

  2. Lovely post...
    you are doing so well in everything you do,slow is also good take your time and enjoy it,
    i would be so scared out there,Thanks for the comment on my blog i'm so excited to be reviewing Zumba have a great week :)